Chasing Fluency

Desire of people who stutter: Becoming fluent

Reason for continuing to stutter: Trying to become fluent

So many people who stutter go to therapy to fulfill their desire to become a fluent speaker, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen. They try and they try, and the more they try, the more they become frustrated. The consequence is either giving up on their hope of ever speaking without stuttering or continuing to search in vain for the magic cure that will get rid of their stuttering.

I don’t believe there are any magic cures, but I do know that people who stutter can speak fluently. I also know that people who stutter will never speak with normal fluency by trying to speak fluently. As a matter of fact, trying to be fluent is very counterproductive, because it usually makes the person more aware of words (a good way to make stuttering happen), and putting in more effort to try to get them out (adding control to what must be an automatic process).

It’s hard for people who stutter to grasp that there is a way that they can create fluent speech without chasing after fluency. Perhaps that is why the hardest challenge of Dynamic Stuttering Therapy is to keep clients focused on the internal processes of creating speech when all the really want is the outcome-fluent speech. In Dynamic Stuttering Therapy, fluency is never the criteria of success. Nevertheless, when the person creates speech in the normal way, the effortless outcome is fluent speech.

As I write this, I am watching the Winter Olympics. I see sportsman after sportswoman focused on their process for their sport as they go for the gold. I think this is a good example of how to achieve success in therapy.

Desire of people who stutter: Becoming fluent

Reason speech is fluent: Focus is on the inner processes of creating speech